A new beginning

27 Feb

This blog took me the longest time to write. With a heavy heart, I would like to announce that we will be not be making new loans available online for funding by lenders. Repayments on the already funded loans will continue as usual.

It was not an easy decision to take.  Some of our supporters and also board members thought this was not the right decision to take.  We mulled over it for several months.

When we launched in 2009, we had no idea whether loans would get funded.  We have been most fortunate in having a community of lenders who have always stood up to the challenge and funded every entrepreneur that we have had online.  It has been miraculous in so many ways. The support of the lenders and our supporters from all over the world; and the impact we could make to make people’s lives has kept us going. To us it always seemed that we were falling short of the high expectations of lenders and our supporters, and we ought to do even more.

After the India microfinance crisis in 2010, we relaunched with loans from Sri Lanka in late 2012. We saw 2014 as the year where we would expand. But that was not to be despite our best efforts. We planned  to launch in India in partnership with a wholesale microfinance lender ( i.e. an organization that lends to microfinance institutions)  and  we spent several months working on a partnership with them, however the partnership did not fructify. We tried other alternatives as well, but those did not also work out.   It has been a big learning experience for us.

We do not see this as the end of journey.   We are launching a new initiative that focuses on basic literacy for the entrepreneurs.  It is an area that needs much work, but most governments focus on literacy amongst children and adult literacy gets far less attention.

We will be initially piloting this initiative in India and over a course of time we plan to launch this in other countries.  We will be sharing more details of our new initiative over the next few weeks.

And thanks once again for all your support. It inspires us to do more.

7 Responses to “A new beginning”

  1. trevorrotzien March 2, 2015 at 1:57 am #

    I can understand that was a very tough decision to make. But thanks to you for your hard work in helping many micro-entrepreneurs. I also believe literacy is hugely important, so I will look forward to more information on your next initiative.

  2. mwesten March 7, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    I am saddened to hear of the closure of your lending in S Asia. UP has been the single mf effort I feel the best about supporting. I plan to support your group in your new education efforts.

  3. john March 9, 2015 at 7:17 pm #

    If we want to continue lending do you have any recommendations about other sources such as Kiva, etc?

  4. Sverre Skimmeland December 1, 2015 at 10:31 am #

    Any update on future UP? Possible to donate money to be invested / relend?

    • unitedp December 2, 2015 at 6:18 pm #

      Hi Sverre – We have been trying to get something started but have not been able to get it started so far. I think we will have more clarity early next year.

      Bhalchander

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